A couple of days ago I posted a Google form asking one simple question.

Estimate how many hours of technology related training occur at your school each year.

After only 2 days up, I’ve received 30 responses, which seem to be from a wide variety of different schools, and almost all of which are from people I’ve never met before.  The preliminary results are posted below, as well excerpts from the comments added by the people completing the surveys.

Number of hours of training Number of respondents
Less than 5 hours 16
5 hours – 10 hours 5
10 hours – 20 hours 1
20 hours – 50 hours 4
More than 50 hours 3

 Some comments below:

  • Training is certainly being offered, but not on a terribly organised basis.  Our head of tech is simply, at present, trying to stimulate more interest.  Training sessions that are setup are poorly attended (3-5 people in general, I’d say).
  • We are fortunate to have a keen staff who want to be trained. We have a marvellous in-house trainer so…it works!
  • There are also other opportunities to receive training at a conference for my subject area, but frequently we are not given permission to attend these conferences due to funding issues or other issues deemed more important than my attendance at one of these conferences. This is called politics.
  • Technology is something [our] school districts love to talk about, but when it comes to spending the money to really get serious…well they would rather fund the football team.
  • Our technology expert was made available to us upon request in order to serve our needs with regard to technology.  This was very useful, as technology training on its own is, in my opinion, quite a waste of time. It’s great to know what’s available, but to spend PD hours en masse to learn about something which you are not immediately going to put into practice is like learning French and having no one to speak to in that language. pretty soon…who remembers?  I had specific questions about setting up projectors and Promethean Boards, and because I learned what I wanted to know, I now regularly use that technology.
  • All tech training is self-administered or self-taught among the 6 staff members at my small school.  Basically, it’s minimal if not non-existent.
  • There is usually 0 hours of organized group technology training at my school. If you need help with an issue, a technician is called in or one of the staff members who is considered a "technology expert" would help. You have to take the initiative to ask for help because it won’t be offered. It’s sad but true.
  • Technology training for teachers is costly in our state. Our national economy is so poor that we no longer have the support of the Feds. As a result I have bought pieces of equipment because I knew the district would not reimburse on  teaching items (overhead projectors and pushcart). I’m lucky to have a job!
  • Dozens of courses are available afterschool but taking classes [is] optional.
  • Mostly focuses on MS Office, electronic gradebook, electronic lesson planning.

What is abundantly clear is that most teachers surveyed are in a school where technology training is lacking.  A recent introductory session on one program used at school took an hour at my school.  I was surprised that more than half of respondents indicated they had such little official training at their school.  At my school we spent an entire PD day where we offered 10 different technology related workshops for teachers to choose from (as well as another 10 non-tech workshops).

Any comments?